Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

In 1934 Jim said he could see the “outfit” going broke, what with “running in common” on gazing land with other cattlemen, decreases, and feeding hay from September ‘till June. Those were the bad Depression years.

Having heard the Fisher Valley Ranch was for sale (south and west of Cisco, Utah, belonging to Amasa Larsen), Jim decided to investigate. (Amasa and Budge’s mother— Rena—were brother and sister, and Essie White is a daughter of Amasa.) Jim came down and got George White, Essie’s husband. George and Essie had a small ranch on the Colorado River between Cisco and Moab. They went into Fisher Valley to investigate. The big house, made of adobe brick, had burned. So had a small one-room cabin. But the “huge” logs were scattered about.

Amasa Larsen and his son, Brig, were camped in a tent. Jim decided to lease the place with the option to buy. He farmed the ranch that summer, with help of the Cleveland boys whose parents had “homesteaded” a piece of ground across the valley and dug a cellar to live in. Jim and the boys rebuilt the cabin and put on a dirt roof.

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